Ethiopia sent civil servants in Tigray back to work Monday and ordered gun owners to disarm as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government sought to restore normality in the northern region after weeks of war.
Some power and telephone links were also restored in regional capital, Mekelle, after a virtual communications blackout since federal troops’ November 4 offensive. But there were reports of big fuel and food price hikes, plus water shortages.
Accounts of hunger and harassment also emerged from refugees, some of whom the Ethiopian government has sent back to Tigray. The region is still off-limits to journalists without a permit.
Abiy has declared victory over the former local ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The powerful TPLF dominated federal government for nearly three decades before anti-government protests propelled Abiy to office in 2018.
Thousands of people are believed to have been killed and nearly a million fled their homes during airstrikes and ground battles in Tigray that exposed bitter ethnic divisions around the vast nation.